tv Sanjay Gupta MD CNN November 30, 2014 4:30am-5:01am PST
>> we'll see you back here at the top of the hour. the people back home will be so jealous. >> yeah. >> you're probably wand whaerg is happening right now. so was i. truth is none of this was supposed to happen much the beach, the camel ride, the trip with my mother, returning to a country she fled 70 years ago as a refugee. >> did you ever think you would do this? >> i was not planning on this. >> it's going to be a journey of surprises, i think. >> yes.
what are you thinking right now? >> amazing. i can't believe it. i can't believe it. >> you never thought you'd come back here? >> never. never. now i'm back with my son after 67 years. >> i'm not 67. >> no. i'm back. i'm 67 years. and a lot of things happen because i was only a. >> that's right. >> i tell people that my mom was a refugee when she was a young person. >> i'm still a refugee. i never got that status back. >> my mom was a survivor of one of the bloodiest partitions in our world's history, the religious wars between indues and muslims and india and pakistan. >> you left everything on your own? >> everything we owned because we didn't know how long we were going. we didn't know that also.
i tell you one good thing happened out of all this. you know when you pick up ball and hit hard it goes up higher. the harder you hit, the higher it goes up, right? >> well here you are. >> we're here. >> this is it. this is your roots. >> this is my roots. that's where i came. >> want to get out? >> sure. >> let's go look. >> it's hard to believe but my mom hasn't been back here in 70 years. she hasn't missed a beat. she's asking if anybody in the small village recognizes her made enname.
>> so you walk through here. does anything look familiar? >> that store looks familiar. those doors there look familiar. >> these doors? >> yeah, one of these doors could be my house. >> really? do you want to knock and take a look? >> we can try and see if somebody will open. >> worth a shot. we came all this way. i see movement back there. >> you're welcome. she thinks this might be her house. >> we used to have this. >> a courtyard like this? >> courtyard like this. and they used to sit in this portion. >> is that right? >> yeah. >> so what do you think? >> it's amazing. can you believe i lived in some place like this. >> you think this is your house? >> not exactly same house but something similar. might be same house.
>> something like that used to be there. a temple we used to visit. >> something that strikes me to think that my an sesters used to go there and pray. >> that's only temple in town. that's how they lived. several thousand years they were here. >> that's extraordinary. yeah, that's our history. >> yep. >> you know, the thing is history has a strange way of repeating itself. all the violence that my mom thought she left behind, i was about to see it for myself. in a country still unsettled, seven decades later. >> but first, we're at the international airport and karachi is under attack right now by unidentified militants.
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>> these there on time and we're late because we've been up all night. i thought we were going to meet at 9:00. >> i didn't get a chance to tell you, there was a terrorist attack on the airport last night. she said, yeah, but we were supposed to meet at 9:00. but you know, despite everything going on, i still got to do one of the most amazing things on this trip, take a stroll with my mom on karachi beach. i mean you left your homeland into these waters and then never came back. >> never came back until today. >> 67 years. >> i look at this kind of water on the ocean and i think it's beautiful and i want to grab my surfboard. and i want to go out there and surf. you look at that water and you see what? >> i see this water took me from this land. >> took you away? >> took me away from my home. >> and these are the very steps
that my mom and her parents and her grandparents stepped down before getting on a cargo ship bound for bam bay. these were awful times and the partition of india was in full swing. when i think about getting in a cargo ship at age a, very uncomfortable, not knowing where i'm going, not knowing if i'm going to be safe, having just left everything that i owned in the world behind, i think i would be sick to my stomach. i mean it would make me -- >> sure, but i have a very brave mother. my mother, she reminded me every day, we lost everything. but we have our courage. and we're not going to give up. >> so once you're forced to leave your home, then -- >> my mom's family was forced to move to karachi to boroga, my dad's family, they really lived in the same place for thousands
of years. so we finally arrived here. it's hard to believe but what you're looking at is the oldest place that we can chase. it's called doeb dobe, india, and these are the people that still live here. >> there was a hero's welcome everywhere dad went. >> not because of me. >> but i think a lot of it is
because of our great grandfather. he donated a lot of land for the temples and he was a very charitable person. it's interesting. can you hear somebody's name. you can hear where they lived. but then when you get a little bit of an idea of what kind of person they were, that is really fascinating. you can see they rolled out the red carpet for my father and i. i'm meeting hundreds of relatives i didn't know i had. they put up a sign here. they're rocking cnn. they give me far more credit than i deserve. they welcomed us to the house. does any of this look familiar to you? >> it changed completely.
>> these the are stairs right here? >> so it's different? >> the idea that i tell my friends that my parents came from small towns and villages, this is it. >> this is the very spot. >> it is kind of humbling, right? >> very humbling. >> you started with nothing. >> yep. >> when you finally went to the united states, i mean how much did you have with you? and what did you -- what were you able to take? >> probably my family had 600 a month and you needed 10,000 to go. i mean that's more than a year's worth of -- >> three years of saving. >> that's incredible.
a big step. zbh yeah. >> we were about to take the biggest step in our own journey. who were my ancestors? what kind of people were they? we found a key that could help unlock the answers to some of those questions. it's amazing. so of all the technology, all the things that exist in the world today, these handwritten scrolls maybe some of the best records of our own family tree. >> that is absolutely correct. whenyou obsess over find neperfection, elevate form, and reinvent a category. you also attract a lot of attention. chevrolet. the most awarded car company of the year. not ford, honda, or toyota. hurry in, the chevy black friday sale ends monday.
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and it's considered very holy. >> does the gupta family feel a connection to this place? >> we came here quite some time. >> in the united states we record our lives at the time that we are born. but centuries ago and in places including india, they recorded their lives at the time of death. that's why so many people bring the ashes of their loved ones to scatter here in this holy river. >> they keep a lot of records over here. so you can go back several generations and find out who all came here. >> so here it is, perhaps the most important moment of our whole journey. and there's my daughter, fast
asleep passed out really in my wife's lap. in her defense, it was well over 100 degrees in that room and no fan, no breeze. ♪ >> so back to 1698, that's how far it was? so it's even before that? >> yeah. so roughly how many years back are we talking? >> about 1600. >> about 1600? >> yes. >> these records go back 40 generations. that's quite incredible. they start writing on leaves and
when paper was actually created, they started writing on paper and some of the records here go back hundreds and hundreds of years. we came here to find our roots and today we decided to leave some of our own as well, perhaps our own family will see this hundreds of years from now. ♪ ♪ >> do you feel a certain connection to the gods and -- what do you feel? >> yeah, you do feel closer to the god over here. >> the last time you were here was when your father baji passed away. >> yeah. >> and it was important for you and your brother to come here and place the ashes here. >> right. right. >> what is the meaning of that?
what is the purpose of that? >> well, they just feel that this is a -- this is a -- getting the salvation. >> so, you want to cleanse your sins in the river? >> well, i'm not debating, but i've been -- >> are you debating whether you want to go or debating whether you have sins? >> well, i'm sure i got some sins. >> we all have sins. you ready? ♪ there's something about searching for your roots that
forces you to have experiences like that one with your parents and with your kids. but you know you're probably wondering how did i come into this whole equation? well, it's something that i alluded to when i gave the commencement address at my alma mater at the university of michigan. you see, not only was the foundation for most of my life conceived in this town, i myself was likely conceived in this town. laugh [ laughter ] best bet is the 17th floor of the university towers, though, no one is talking for sure still after 43 years.
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♪ what does this mean to you, being here? >> always amazing when i come here. it just looks like it happened yesterday. >> it's safe to say this is the first place you arrive in the united states? >> that is correct. >> were you scared? were you nervous? i mean -- >> i didn't know what the hell was coming next biskcally. i just -- i just -- like sometimes jump into the lake and you just let it go and say, well, whatever happens, happens. >> right, right. and, boy, do things happen. sometimes when you least expect them and in this case at the corner of south university and south forest avenue in ann arbor, it's quite a story. buckle your seat belts. so, your car broke down right
around here? >> yeah. just maybe a block from here and i was looking for a pay phone. >> so she finds a pay phone and finds a phone book and starts leafing through it to see the first indian name that she can find. truthfully i'm not so sure how far through the phone book she would have gone but it turned out to be a moot point because someone answered the phone after that first ring. it wasn't the person she was trying to call, but it was that guy's roommate, her future husband. my dad. you remember this like crystal clear? >> crystal clear. >> so an accidental phone call and you guys end up -- >> meeting. >> -- meeting. getting married. >> yeah. >> yes. >> and then you happen. >> right. >> is that a good part of the story or a bad part of the story? >> that was the best part of the story. >> well, then, the rest is history as they say. >> the rest is history. >> good history. >> yes. >> but i can say that my roots started right here. >> that's right. >> for sure. >> yes. >> no doubt. >> no doubt. >> okay. the young couple needed jobs and
they found them at a booming ford motor company in dearborn, michigan. so you literally just walked in. >> i just walked and walked through those things -- >> august 1967. >> august 1967. and when i came, this person looked at my resume and said are you applying for engineering job and i said "anything wrong with that?" and he said, "but we don't have any woman engineers working here," i said, "well, if you don't give me a chance, you won't have any." >> and she did become the first woman engineer ever at the ford motor company. when you finally were hired, the person who hired you told you to do something on the spot. >> he says, "i cannot pronounce your name so that's the time my name became rani." >> which i should point out means queen in hindi. i'm not sure what my mom was trying to say but i think there's a metaphor in there some way. my dad also got sick of spelling his name every time someone asked so he decided to change it as well. so that's when you became sam.
>> i said, okay, this is it. now i'm back. >> back to it. >> how big a part of your roots would you say this place is? >> you know, my -- good part of my life i worked for ford 34 years. and i think after that 20-some years, 24 years, i worked in this building. >> wow. it's pretty amazing. >> yeah. everything for us and my brother and now my kids, i mean, this place made that possible in some ways. >> yeah. >> yeah. >> life is a journey. you go through it. and you go through the phases of it, and each one of those phases does become a root for somebody. it may not be for you but for your generations down. >> i think more than any other
place in my life, this is where i grew, i think, as a person. and i think when i came here as a 16-year-old kid and, you know, i left here as a neurosurgeon. and today the operating room is where i still feel most at home. but what about my mom? was that really her home? we may never know, but i realized it hardly mattered. because, you see, my mom was suddenly a kid again. >> as much as i used to do it 67 back. not bad, right? >> pretty good. you haven't lost your touch. >> yes. >> and for my dad, it became clear that home would always be wherever his family was. that's the way it is for most of us. home is a feeling. for me, for my parents, for all of us. >> there are two tracks. one part coming and one part going. >> i think it suddenly strikes
you that in order to really understand where you're going, you have to understand from where you came. >> you came from. yeah. >> that makes sense, huh? now it makes more sense than ever. ever. >> yes. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com he's 112 days late, thank goodness. >> darren willson a former police officer the man who shot and killed michael brown resigned from the ferguson police department but a lot of people are asking what took so long. we opened the compartment where he was and saw him and asked him to come forward and he was horrified. >> found after nearly four years, a georgia boy texts his mother from inside the house that he was being held. what happened next is just out of thisld